Health https://www.iatp.org/ en Fri, 19 Nov 2021 18:16:52 +0000 IATP comments to the Council on Environmental Quality on the "National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions" https://www.iatp.org/documents/iatp-comments-council-environmental-quality-national-environmental-policy-act <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-climate-change has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/sharon-anglin-treat" hreflang="en">Sharon Anglin Treat</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>To read the full comment, please <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-11/CEQ-2021-0002%20IATP-Comments-Final.pdf">download a PDF of the comment</a>. </em></p> <p>Dear Chair Mallory:</p> <p>The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the CEQ’s October 7, 2021 proposed revisions to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. IATP is a 35-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.</p> <p>We work at the local, state, national and international levels to create fair and sustainable agriculture and trade systems that benefit family farmers, rural communities and the environment, including addressing climate impacts.<sup>1 </sup>The comments herein are intended to supplement comments IATP is submitting jointly with the Animal Legal Defense Fund. That submission particularly addresses the need for the CEQ to reverse a series of provisions in the 2020 NEPA rules that excluded review of federal financing of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and which in multiple ways narrowed the scope of review and alternatives analysis with respect to federal actions related to these operations. IATP’s policy analysis and advocacy extend to a wide range of federal actions related to rural communities and farms that have been or will be affected by the 2020 NEPA rule revisions. Our work includes how climate change threatens the viability of agriculture and how agriculture itself significantly contributes to climate altering greenhouse gas emissions.<sup>2 </sup></p> <p>CEQ’s proposed rule<sup>3</sup> will better align agency guidance with the statutory intent of NEPA, and with more than 40 years of judicial interpretation and practical implementation that has cemented the law as the cornerstone of our national environmental policy. IATP generally supports the proposed revisions, as far as they go. We wish to highlight the importance of moving quickly, however, to restore the full scope of longstanding NEPA policy that was in effect until 2020. We understand that this rulemaking is Phase 1 of CEQ’s proposed restoration; we encourage CEQ to move forward as soon as practicable with the remaining portions of its rulemaking in order to restore NEPA’s effectiveness as a tool for careful and inclusive environmental decision-making.</p> <p>IATP strongly supports the proposed changes to restore and codify longstanding NEPA policy including:</p> <ul><li>that the full range of reasonable alternatives are considered when a project is reviewed;</li> <li>that the purpose and need for the project not be limited to the applicant’s goals;</li> <li>that all reasonably foreseeable adverse impacts are disclosed and considered, including so called</li> <li>indirect impacts;</li> <li>that cumulative impacts, which may individually be minor but collectively significant, must be</li> <li>considered; and</li> <li>that individual agencies should be allowed, as they had been for 40 years, to address criteria and establish procedures consistent with NEPA that augment those listed in the CEQ’s rules, to reflect specialized agency expertise and authority; in other words, the CEQ’s guidance should be considered a floor, not a ceiling.</li> </ul><p><strong>To continue reading, please <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-11/CEQ-2021-0002%20IATP-Comments-Final.pdf">click here</a>. </strong></p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/issues/climate-change" hreflang="en">Climate Change</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 19 Nov 2021 18:16:52 +0000 cecelia brackey 44689 at https://www.iatp.org Letter on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Regulation of the Movement of GE Animals https://www.iatp.org/documents/letter-advanced-notice-proposed-rulemaking-regulation-movement-ge-animals <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/dr-steve-suppan" hreflang="en">Dr. Steve Suppan</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-05/IATP%20APHIS%20ANPR%20comment%205.7.21.pdf">Download a PDF of the letter</a> sent to the <span><span><span><span>Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on May 7, 2021. </span></span></span></span></em></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) appreciates this opportunity to comment on the above-captioned ANPR. As we noted in our previous letter to APHIS on July 30, 2019, the agency did not consult with non-industry stakeholders prior to issuing its proposed rule for a framework to deregulate genetically engineered plant organisms. We request that the agency reverse the previous administration’s industry-only consultations in rulemaking and make all consultation documents and comment letters available on the APHIS website. IATP requests that APHIS follow best practices in the Administrative Procedures Act “notice and comment” provision by providing summaries of comments on provisions of proposed rulemaking and summaries of agency responses to those comments in the preliminary section of the proposed rule. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>On April 5, IATP and 10 other non-governmental organizations wrote to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack concerning the January 13 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Secretary Sonny Perdue to transfer much of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) regulatory authority over genetically engineered animals to APHIS. We noted that FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn had refused to sign the MoU and that FDA has not posted the MoU on its website, meaning that the MoU is not legally valid nor operational for FDA. We requested that Secretary Vilsack withdraw the MoU from the APHIS website and that we meet with APHIS biotechnology regulatory services staff to discuss the MoU. The former request has not been granted but some of the signatories of our letter will be meeting with APHIS officials, for which we are grateful.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The ANPR states:</span></span></span></span></span></p> <blockquote> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The contemplated regulatory framework for amenable species modified or developed using genetic engineering is intended to operate under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with FDA consistent with each agency's authorities and statutory obligations and informed by the comments received in response to this advance notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments. A MOU would facilitate an orderly transition of the oversight of amenable species modified or developed using genetic engineering for certain intended uses from FDA to USDA once USDA's regulatory program is established. A MOU would set clear roles, responsibilities, and timeframes for the interaction between FDA and USDA.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> </blockquote> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Many of the questions in the ANPR assume that FDA will agree to an “orderly transition” of FDA regulatory authority over genetically engineered (GE) animals to USDA. This assumption is premature at best. IATP will wait for a new FDA Commissioner to confirm or not FDA’s consent to the “orderly transition” proposed by Secretary Sonny Perdue before we provide substantive responses to questions in a revised and reissued ANPR and/or proposed rule. We anticipate, based on the response of FDA Commissioner Hahn and FDA career lawyers to the MoU, that a subsequent renegotiation of the MoU will not result in establishing USDA as a “one-stop shop” providing “end to end oversight” of GE product developer applications to expedite the commercialization of GE animals with the “regulatory certainty” demanded by industry as noted in our April 5 letter. As a result, we anticipate that APHIS will have to modify the proposed “contemplated framework” and the questions about it before issuing a proposed rule. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The legal authority for the ANPR relies far more on a policy document, the “Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology", as “modernized” in 2019 by a Trump administration Executive Order, than on the higher legal status of clear statutory authority. So, for example, the ANPR states, “The Executive Order pointed out that for many national imperatives for food production and rural prosperity to be realized, the Federal biotechnology regulatory system must both foster public confidence in the technology and avoid undue regulatory burdens.” IATP urges APHIS to clarify its legal authority for the ANPR according to the provisions of the Animal Health Protection Act, rather than rely on this Executive Order and the non-scientific standards of the Coordinated Framework. </span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span>Advocates of unconditional granting of CBI received a boost from the Supreme Court in June 2019, in <em>Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media</em>. The case concerned a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access store level data reporting Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The Court majority overthrew the confidentiality standard of demonstrating "substantial competitive harm" if the SNAP data did not remain confidential. As a result, GE product developers will not have to demonstrate competitive harm for APHIS and other agencies to grant CBI status to animal, plant, human and environmental health data in product developer data and studies used to apply for non-regulated status.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Given this unprecedented restriction on the public's ability to obtain relevant information and data through FOIA requests, how will APHIS “foster public confidence in the technology,” which is not a statutory requirement? Since APHIS relies on the Trump Executive Order and the “modernized” Coordinated Framework for the preponderance of the ANPR’s legal authority, APHIS should explicitly state its policy and criteria for granting CBI to product developers and for responding to FOIA requests. APHIS should also outline in a proposed rule how it will “foster public confidence in the technology” while denying or heavily redacting access to the information that would foster that public confidence. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span><span><span>To continue reading the letter and the endnotes, please <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-05/IATP%20APHIS%20ANPR%20comment%205.7.21.pdf">download a PDF of the letter</a>. </span></span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p> </p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 11 May 2021 21:55:18 +0000 cecelia brackey 44560 at https://www.iatp.org US and Canadian Groups Call for Ban on Face Masks Containing Toxic Nanomaterials https://www.iatp.org/documents/us-and-canadian-groups-call-ban-face-masks-containing-toxic-nanomaterials <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > Face masks designed to protect against COVID-19 should use properly registered ingredients and not expose users to nanomaterials at occupational exposure levels</h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>The International Center for Technology Assessment &amp; Center for Food Safety, Institute on Agriculture and Trade Policy, ETC Group, Health Care Without Harm U.S and Friends of the Earth</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><strong>MINNEAPOLIS</strong>—Today, leading environmental and human health advocacy groups from the United States and Canada provided detailed evidence about face masks containing potentially toxic nanoscale materials <a href="https://www.iatp.org/engineered-nanomaterials-masks-covid-19">in a letter</a> to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). The groups demand a ban on the import and sale, as well as recall, of masks that contain nanographene, nanosilver and nanocopper, which could result in harms to human health from hours-long and daily inhalation of those nanomaterials by medical and civilian mask wearers.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>As we enter a fourth wave of COVID-19 in the U.S., the authors of the letter strongly support the wearing of masks as a critical public health measure to protect against the transmission of the virus. However, masks must use properly registered ingredients and be authorized for use by U.S. agencies prior to U.S. import and sale.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The ETC Group in Canada aggregated data on U.S. imports of Shengquan Group masks to its U.S. subsidiaries. The company claims to produce three million masks per day from biomass graphene and has exported at least 55 shipments of its nanographene masks with the brand name “heal fiber” to the U.S. Based on the ETC Group analysis of Department of Commerce data, since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 600 million masks have been imported from this Chinese conglomerate, which advertises its use of nanographene in masks but does not consistently label the masks. It is impossible to know how many of those masks incorporate nanographene as a purported antiviral ingredient.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Masks are an essential technology to defeat this pandemic but the longer the FDA leaves potentially unsafe masks on the market the more it undermines trust in mask-wearing and unnecessarily fuels conspiracies. A pandemic is no time to allow risky technological opportunism,” says Jim Thomas, research director at ETC Group.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The NGOs’ demand comes on the heels of events in the past six weeks involving masks made with antimicrobial nanomaterials, including: a recall in Belgium of masks containing nanoscale titanium dioxide and silver particles; a Canadian government advisory that masks containing graphene may pose health risks due to the inhalation of nanographene particles; a recall of millions of products containing nanographene in Nancy, France; and the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products’ call for the cessation of marketing and use of graphene surgical masks manufactured by Shandong Shengquan New Materials Co. Ltd. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“FDA, EPA and the CSPC know of the actions taken by their counterparts in Canada and Europe,” said Steve Suppan of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “However, it is very likely that masks made with nanomaterial textiles, whether so labeled or not, are being exported to many other countries. U.S. agencies should help to ensure that the World Health Organization issues an alert to all of its member governments about the risks to human health from chronic inhalation exposure to these nanomaterials in masks, while urging that wearing masks without these nanomaterials is a critical component to combat the global pandemic.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The three agencies should already be fully aware of the potential human toxicity resulting from chronic exposure to nanosilver, nanocopper and nanographene as used in masks. However, the agencies have not issued a conditional use permit nor conducted a voluntary pre-market safety consultation with manufacturers of nanotechnology-enabled textiles for use in masks, whether for medical personnel or for civilians. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The FDA, EPA and CPSC must act to remove these toxic masks from the marketplace,” says Jaydee Hanson, policy director at the International Center for Technology Assessment &amp; Center for Food Safety. “They have not been tested for either medical use or consumer use. You have the authority to take the thousands of these masks off the market. I should not be able to go to my neighborhood drug store and find such masks at the checkout counter.” </span></span></p> <p><span><span>The International Center for Technology Assessment &amp; Center for Food Safety, Institute on Agriculture and Trade Policy, ETC Group, Health Care Without Harm U.S and Friends of the Earth urge the EPA, USDA and CPSC to take precautionary actions for imported masks that have not undergone pre-market safety reviews and post-market surveillance by withdrawing these potentially toxic nanographene, nanosilver and nanocopper masks from the U.S. market. To read the letter, please visit: <a href="http://www.iatp.org/engineered-nanomaterials-masks-covid-19">www.iatp.org/engineered-nanomaterials-masks-covid-19</a>.</span></span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/PRESS%20RELEASE_IATP_Nanotech%20Mask%20BAN_April%2021%202021_1.pdf">Download a PDF of the press release</a>. </strong></p></div> </div> Wed, 21 Apr 2021 23:46:52 +0000 cecelia brackey 44526 at https://www.iatp.org Engineered nanomaterials in masks claimed as protection against COVID-19 https://www.iatp.org/engineered-nanomaterials-masks-covid-19 <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/dr-steve-suppan" hreflang="en">Dr. Steve Suppan</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><strong><span><span>To read the full letter to the </span></span><span><span>Food and Drug Administration, </span></span><span><span>Environmental Protection Agency</span></span> and <span><span>U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/Final%20letter%20to%20FDA%20EPA%20CSPC%20nano%20masks%20Apr%2020%2021.pdf">please click here</a>. </span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span>Dear Dr. Woodcock, Mr. Regan and Dr. Thomas,</span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We write to urge you to use your authorities and competencies to ban the import and sale of medical masks and civilian equivalents in the United States and its territories that incorporate certain nanoscale materials. Furthermore, you should recall any such masks presently in the United States and its territories and strongly advise against the continued use of such masks because wholesale and retail recalls will not prevent the use of these masks by individuals unaware that regular use of the masks, e.g., by teachers and school children, will result in inhaling these nanomaterials at occupational exposure levels. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Jim Thomas, of the ETC Group in Canada, has aggregated Department of Commerce Harmonized System data on U.S. imports of Shengquan Group masks. Shengquan is a prominent global manufacturer of medical and civilian use masks incorporating biomass derived nanographene. Mr. Thomas estimates that companies including Shengquan USA, SQ Medical, Shengquan Canada, Aussino, Dolbec International, BP Exploration and others have imported into the U.S. over 600 million masks from Shengquan New Materials company since the beginning of the pandemic. We attach an Excel spreadsheet with Mr. Thomas’s Harmonized System data and his aggregation calculations. (Attachment 1) Shengquan masks incorporating nanographene “heal fiber” are not always advertised as such, so it is impossible to determine what percentage of the masks incorporate nanographene. The certificate of registration by one importer of the Shengquan masks explicitly notes that the certificate does not constitute Food and Drug Administration approval of the mask. However, Shengquan states in its marketing materials that its nanographene masks provides “equivalent protection” to that of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certified masks and implies its imported masks are FDA approved. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We make this request in the full recognition that mask wearing continues to be a public health measure of critical importance as we enter the fourth wave of COVID-19. However, recent events concerning masks that incorporate antimicrobial nanomaterials provide evidence of the urgent need for you to take precautionary actions for imported masks that have not undergone pre-market safety reviews and post-market surveillance.</span></span></span></p> <p><em>To continue reading and read the endnotes, please download a <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/Final%20letter%20to%20FDA%20EPA%20CSPC%20nano%20masks%20Apr%2020%2021.pdf">PDF of the letter</a>. </em></p></div> </div> Tue, 20 Apr 2021 19:01:32 +0000 cecelia brackey 44525 at https://www.iatp.org Groups Urge Regulation of Genetically Engineered Animals Stay with FDA not USDA https://www.iatp.org/documents/groups-urge-regulation-genetically-engineered-animals-stay-fda-not-usda <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p><span>Center for Food Safety<br /> Friends of the Earth U.S.<br /> Steve Suppan</span></p> <p> </p></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/PRESS%20RELEASE_Groups%20Urge%20Regulation%20of%20GE%20Animals%20Stay%20with%20FDA%20not%20USDA.pdf">Download a PDF of the press release.</a></em></p> <p><span><strong>WASHINGTON, D.C.—</strong>This week, thirteen national advocacy groups concerned about public health, environment, and animal welfare urged key federal agencies to maintain regulatory authority over genetically engineered food animals within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In response to a Trump U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposal to withdraw most of the FDA’s regulatory authority over genetically engineered animals, including fish, and transfer that authority to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the groups sent letters to U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) <a href="https://u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=4tNED-2FM8iDZJQyQ53jATUe-2FWzo6vY1sPqCzhyYhkUcobUE03oDI6kjtNbK-2BmXPk-2B-2BxSIJYJVhbnuwlpugP7qZQp8j2I53ZjPH7DSoe3I9Zz4XAG1xaHPK3GACWTL5pNHfQnMeK6yCiuFZGS8fGvPbs5cIzqtpeN9TPuxZjPCIMozL-2F8PCAkO4MTmSEXwL7gIDI-2BoM9vUj-2BikPU0eCwUJJg-3D-3DtTxX_ZtyLTlYa78bQffWNrIlGC-2B55pgFSohbK9cKXTA6mlzX5aic1KCTZEwvGxYrMNVBkzCkgzbH3RLeIhKFxy8ULogGIbpSxC6ghCwYE9EDyxaA2Z8nt-2FlRDP6g7brxNJbbHfvdUx16pwRQO-2FV0NgEatjyivzwlkEbWNRd1mdI7e3so6WppWBqBWfItR-2BATLSQMUr-2FXkMiniA0TKiQzzjH0lAFVWVQRkj-2BLNlcn6BxUeF4VeG-2Ba-2FBGESk2FDOAzXqEmbBAIrtv1cetLoNXfrURXh993zejgC6YFblHPrh9ctNL-2BoNe0dX4Vbzmcw90uirVwPAJR2FvmRh65qseC1fX77Hn560aeTGScR4qKBaqvPlME-3D"><span>Secretary Becerra</span></a> and USDA <a href="https://u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=4tNED-2FM8iDZJQyQ53jATUe-2FWzo6vY1sPqCzhyYhkUcobUE03oDI6kjtNbK-2BmXPk-2B-2BxSIJYJVhbnuwlpugP7qZQp8j2I53ZjPH7DSoe3I9Zy-2F0dMv-2F9W1scG9H-2B3ZGw4QWp3tLsyC3erLXjQ3FEuJU-2Bj4I-2BkdAqaTC3WwVeSYPw1-2F6wUFr7DBvcMfZed6fDTLQaofksV8nCJX0tqSb8h1Wg-3D-3DWK62_ZtyLTlYa78bQffWNrIlGC-2B55pgFSohbK9cKXTA6mlzX5aic1KCTZEwvGxYrMNVBkzCkgzbH3RLeIhKFxy8ULogGIbpSxC6ghCwYE9EDyxaA2Z8nt-2FlRDP6g7brxNJbbHfvdUx16pwRQO-2FV0NgEatjyivzwlkEbWNRd1mdI7e3so6WppWBqBWfItR-2BATLSQMUr-2FXkMiniA0TKiQzzjH0lAH-2FAeyJSqUXCZsBLRUWsbprRpb3AmNcWW9CogScUPKP4zGmzKKIxPgPu4MFzCk1oGIbhGtQXEBat7RLwjpy-2F0KCMjaMKoHJDtTTQi674-2FqjlYCvn2YXK7jODMK7bCLwAkrmDMKmDtVeKAUzVkvmSKFw-3D"><span>Secretary Vilsack</span></a> urging them to maintain authority of genetically engineered animals within FDA.</span></p> <p><span>“Despite concerns that FDA still needs to develop final regulations on genetically engineered animals, FDA possesses the scientific and administrative capacities to regulate these animals better than USDA,” said Jaydee Hanson, policy director at the Center for Food Safety. “President Biden has said that his Administration will be science-based. Leaving genetically engineered animal regulation to the FDA is the science-based approach here.”</span></p> <p><span>USDA’s administrative action took the form of a <a href="https://u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=4tNED-2FM8iDZJQyQ53jATUTGeobks0hz08jQcebOHq4HUfVI1jE5-2BjAm0DczKtxERozPrCHKXDs5wRBa8wXgCDKsoejV6GzoLZbzS9lqp7-2BI-3DQedA_ZtyLTlYa78bQffWNrIlGC-2B55pgFSohbK9cKXTA6mlzX5aic1KCTZEwvGxYrMNVBkzCkgzbH3RLeIhKFxy8ULogGIbpSxC6ghCwYE9EDyxaA2Z8nt-2FlRDP6g7brxNJbbHfvdUx16pwRQO-2FV0NgEatjyivzwlkEbWNRd1mdI7e3so6WppWBqBWfItR-2BATLSQMUr-2FXkMiniA0TKiQzzjH0lAGHkLbJbm-2FLOIXplQSepA5fyhImHLz9QVg9qGVP5f2EFwtM3po7NNCwACz0YV1YbxzQ00MSqHuhab2owckMROJKcL8zNh0RhGDbXWcoPFLElQgBMOEqjfawqtOE0yr50QeRNzaXKrNsZUK1YyEZbDSo-3D"><span>Memorandum of Understanding</span></a> (MOU) — signed on January 13, 2021, by former USDA Secretary Perdue and HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Brett Giroir — and was subsequently posted on the APHIS website. However, although HHS did sign the MOU, the MOU has not been posted on FDA’s website, which means that the MOU is not currently in effect, as it states, “This agreement will become effective when signed by both parties and made publicly available on the USDA and FDA websites.”</span></p> <p><span>FDA’s inaction signaled the last-minute effort by Secretary Perdue to deregulate genetically engineered animals was rejected by the FDA Commissioner. On January 11, FDA Commissioner Hahn told HHS leadership that he refused to sign the MOU, <a href="https://u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=4tNED-2FM8iDZJQyQ53jATUVKjeI34iisUO6eSAa9j6OoXcVrnzUfiNyaWl-2FVSj-2BbPsRYEsTrSHjrFO-2FCvg-2Ft3pKTP3lTGygRTNGh18N5-2BL-2FI-3DNWM7_ZtyLTlYa78bQffWNrIlGC-2B55pgFSohbK9cKXTA6mlzX5aic1KCTZEwvGxYrMNVBkzCkgzbH3RLeIhKFxy8ULogGIbpSxC6ghCwYE9EDyxaA2Z8nt-2FlRDP6g7brxNJbbHfvdUx16pwRQO-2FV0NgEatjyivzwlkEbWNRd1mdI7e3so6WppWBqBWfItR-2BATLSQMUr-2FXkMiniA0TKiQzzjH0lAPX5gBAuD1VaB7Uy4O36vzhJpL6-2BcAvKLc2DaadDmmWAp9qLAKSRRX4v5HxMRT1QIJ01eeGH4Ei7-2Flb3JVxIiD4m-2B8DjqjJnb7nNgtEKr99ryFlBdrKLAB5rratn0n0-2FfvMUyHVenVlpQpXFhQYKdoI-3D"><span>according to Politico</span></a>, “amid concerns about its legality and the potential health repercussions of relaxing oversight of certain genetically altered products.” One senior administration official told POLITICO that the White House was behind the sudden push for approval. Career FDA lawyers opposed the MOU, but were overruled by HHS’ political appointees. The MOU is part and parcel of other Trump administrative initiatives to weaken FDA’s authority to protect public health.</span></p> <p><span><span>The groups behind the letters share Commissioner Hahn’s concerns and are urging HHS Secretary Becerra to ask Secretary Vilsack to instruct USDA officials to remove the MOU from the APHIS website, since it is not in effect. Additionally, the groups are urging Secretary Becerra to order the HHS Office of the General Counsel to evaluate the legality of the MOU in the context of FDA’s statutory authorities and scientific capacity to regulate and conduct pre-market and post-market risk assessment of genetically engineered animals and fish.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Genetically engineered animals are a significant new threat to our food system. With the GMO salmon company AquaBounty looking for buyers, the FDA must urgently strengthen its regulations to fully evaluate GMO animals for public health and environmental safety,” said Dana Perls, program manager for Friends of the Earth’s emerging tech program. “Handing authority over to the USDA will dilute the already-weak GMO animal regulations and exacerbate harm to farmers and the environment.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Secretary Perdue, in announcing the MOU, <a href="https://u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=4tNED-2FM8iDZJQyQ53jATUTIKiMVRkrfoUfzdWdNmhENJk58WH3rmu8hdaY9KCSIfxgkJkbQcdCeeTZqfRxTJ5cY6fGZkyQZPLqgXfS6Mzw43bT5wbrRIW9PAj8WtM5SGbEfxrRB4vu0Zs1D4tBCtb2gdOct-2FIMIw9fk-2BBkVWPf7R0CDaDmfmvk0g8YY5T9hI3pYS_ZtyLTlYa78bQffWNrIlGC-2B55pgFSohbK9cKXTA6mlzX5aic1KCTZEwvGxYrMNVBkzCkgzbH3RLeIhKFxy8ULogGIbpSxC6ghCwYE9EDyxaA2Z8nt-2FlRDP6g7brxNJbbHfvdUx16pwRQO-2FV0NgEatjyivzwlkEbWNRd1mdI7e3so6WppWBqBWfItR-2BATLSQMUr-2FXkMiniA0TKiQzzjH0lAB4aB8WdlsJGS4smVsQVK7R-2Fd1ueA6CxAb3e1aUKdgO4fBN8V-2BfOqdoWvqxyGnTXgWXm3sj5ZU6eAnfAWCHcfSvROBV0MiZtp7uOCT8ACCtVxvbH6kap8lr1DHW61IrXIY87IalUWRQqaXUSVeIPkRM-3D"><span>repeated</span></a> meat industry arguments that FDA’s safety-oriented regulatory approach impedes rapid commercialization of genetically engineered animals. The industry demands, in the words of the National Pork Producers Council, “regulatory certainty” to expedite investment in and commercialization of GE animals, especially swine. However, reassigning regulatory authority to an agency avid to market genetically engineered animal products worldwide is very likely to compromise the scientific integrity of the risk assessment of these animals.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“USDA must not encroach on the FDA’s clear authority and competence to conduct risk assessments on the processes of genetic engineering applied to agricultural animals and fish,” said Dr. Steve Suppan, policy analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “If importing country authorities believe that USDA has usurped FDA authority over genetically engineered animals, the reputation and sales of U.S. agricultural exporters will likely suffer.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The thirteen groups that signed the letters are Center for Food Safety, A Greener World, American Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Institute, Food and Water Watch, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Friends of the Earth, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, International Center for Technology Assessment, National Family Farm Coalition, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, and World Animal Protection.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/final-group-letter-to-secretary-vilsack-opposing-transfer-of-ge-animals-to-usda-april-5_39488.pdf">Read the letter to Sec. Vilsack</a>. </span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/final-group-letter-to-secretary-becerra-opposing-transfer-of-ge-animals-to-usda-april-5-2021_39459.pdf">Read the letter to Sec. Becerra</a>.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/PRESS%20RELEASE_Groups%20Urge%20Regulation%20of%20GE%20Animals%20Stay%20with%20FDA%20not%20USDA.pdf">Download a PDF of the press release</a>. </span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 07 Apr 2021 19:17:52 +0000 cecelia brackey 44513 at https://www.iatp.org Campesino, Social, Academic and Research Organizations Warn Against Pressures from Agricultural Associations in the United States that Affect Our Sovereignty https://www.iatp.org/documents/campesino-social-academic-and-research-organizations-warn-against-pressures-agricultural <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > We Exhort the Federal Government To Maintain its Commitment Towards National Food Sovereignty</h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>Public Declaration signed by 300 organizations (see below). </p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><strong><a href="http://anec.org.mx/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/PRONUNCIAMIENTO-FINAL-CON-FIRMAS-260321.pdf">Read the original statement in Spanish</a>. </strong></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/Mex%20group%20translations.pdf">Download a PDF of the English translation of the statement and view the full list of 302 signatories</a>. </strong></p> <p><span><span><span>On March 22, 2021 various U.S. food and agriculture industry associations directed an open letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative manifesting their concerns over the decisions made by the President of the Mexican Republic Lic. Andrés Manuel López Obrador regarding the front of package nutrition warning labels (NOM 051) that came into force on October 1, 2020. The American associations argue that this, along with the decree published on October 31, 2020 that gradually phases out the use of glyphosate and genetically modified corn, endangers imports of their products.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>These actions are the result of more than 20 years of struggle by the Mexican citizenry and numerous organizations of farmers, environmentalists, consumers, academics, and researchers in defense of peasant agriculture and power of our native corn, as well as the recognition of Mexico as center of origin, cultivation and diversification of species such as corn, chili, beans, squash, avocados, etc., and cultural value that of our milpas (cornfields). In addition, many research scientists have demonstrated the damage caused to health human and the environment by the consumption of ultraprocessed products, the herbicide glyphosate and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In this sense, as civil society organizations we reiterate our support for the policy implemented to ban the planting of corn transgenic and to phase out glyphosate by 2024, as well as for NOM-051, which enables the implementation of front of package warning labels on food and beverages. We consider that these measures are a necessary and fundamental step for the transition to a healthy and sustainable agri-food model.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In this sense, it is important to highlight that the health crisis caused by COVID-19 is a call to leave the devastating consumption model of the environment and the deterioration of health for another where the center is the construction of comprehensive public policies for our country Mexico, which guarantees the production of food that is healthy, nutritious, fair, and competitive in order to achieve self-sufficiency and food sovereignty. In such circumstances, the measures implemented by the Mexican government have the clear intention of strengthening our food sovereignty, as well as protecting the health of Mexicans and transitioning into agroecological production.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Measures that are based on broad international support such as the 4 per 1000 Agreement implemented at COP 21 in Paris; as well as by the Second Symposium of Agroecology in Rome in 2018, where international agencies, governments, academic bodies, farmers organizations and environmentalists committed to move towards agri-food models that are sustainable and regenerative, not only ensure healthy and high-quality food for populations, but also cool the planet with organic projects.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In the case of Mexico, it is important to note that the front of package warning labels (NOM 051) represent respect for the right to choose what to eat based on clear and simple information, as well as the rights to health and to healthy food. In a context where we are the only country in the world where the Ministry of Health has declared an epidemiological emergency due to obesity and diabetes since 2016, both due to non-communicable diseases associated with malnutrition, on the one hand due to the lack of micronutrients and on the other to excess consumption of ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks. From our perspective, the front of package warning labels represents a transcendent achievement towards the construction of a new agri-food and nutritional model. As noted by Christian Skoog, representative of UNICEF in Mexico, "the labeling approved by Mexico provides the best international experience and the most current and relevant scientific evidence, which might even become an example to other countries that go through this process of struggle against overweight and obesity.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It is a fact that for multinationals companies dedicated to the food industry, many of the free and sovereign actions implemented by the Government of Mexico constitute an attack on their economic interests, however, for our part, we agree and we back President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in his decision to move forward to make the right to food, to self-sufficiency and food sovereignty a reality, and to move towards an agroecological model, gradually eliminating import dependence on basic grains and therefore rescuing the millennial contributions of our country’s campesino communities and indigenous communities.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We call for support for the measures previously mentioned and strengthening of the Decree that prohibits glyphosate and GM corn, as cutting-edge measures on the international level for those who seek to preserve our food sovereignty, the milpa as a basis for nutritious, healthy and local foods, as well as to return wealth to our land that has been so devastated by the excessive use of pesticides in our fields.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We urge the Government of Mexico not to give in to the blackmail of the associations that, in their eagerness to maintain their profits and preserve their power, have crossed the boundaries of ethics and health, seriously damaging the health, economy and biodiversity of the Mexican population.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We urge the Government of Mexico to JOINTLY build a new model agri-food and nutritional system.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We urge the Mexican population to remain alert to support the front of package warning labels and the prohibition of glyphosate and transgenic corn and to continue defending the national and food sovereignty and our sacred plant: corn.</span></span></span></p> <p><em>To continue reading and view the list of signatories, <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/Mex%20group%20translations.pdf">download the PDF</a>. </em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 26 Mar 2021 19:38:06 +0000 cecelia brackey 44502 at https://www.iatp.org Detener la carrera al barranco en la política comercial https://www.iatp.org/blog/202103/detener-la-carrera-al-barranco-en-la-politica-comercial <span>Detener la carrera al barranco en la política comercial</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cecelia brackey</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/16/2021 - 14:44</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><strong>Publicado en <a href="https://prospect.org/economy/stopping-the-race-to-the-bottom-in-trade-policy/">The American Prospect</a><em>,</em> 15 de marzo de 2021. </strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>El gigante de la agroindustria Bayer/Monsanto afirma que las restricciones propuestas por México sobre el ingrediente activo de su herbicida Roundup violan el acuerdo comercial del país con Estados Unidos. ¿Estará de acuerdo la Administración Biden?</span></span></span></p></div> Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:44:30 +0000 cecelia brackey 44493 at https://www.iatp.org Stopping the race to the bottom in trade policy https://www.iatp.org/blog/202103/stopping-race-bottom-trade-policy <span>Stopping the race to the bottom in trade policy</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cecelia brackey</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/16/2021 - 09:48</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>The following op-ed was published originally on <a href="https://prospect.org/economy/stopping-the-race-to-the-bottom-in-trade-policy/">The American Prospect</a>. Republished with permission below. </em></p></div> Tue, 16 Mar 2021 14:48:46 +0000 cecelia brackey 44488 at https://www.iatp.org IATP joins allies to request a meeting of the FAO director-general with civil society and Indigenous Peoples' organizations https://www.iatp.org/documents/iatp-joins-allies-request-meeting-fao-director-general-civil-society-and-indigenous <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/iatp" hreflang="en">IATP</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span><span>MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday, the <a href="https://www.iatp.org/">Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy</a> (IATP) joined Pesticide Action Network International (PAN International), civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations in sending a formal request to meet with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu to discuss widespread public concern with FAO’s announcement last November of plans to formalize a partnership with CropLife International (CLI), the global trade association of the world’s biggest agrochemical corporations, which produce and promote many of the Highly Hazardous Pesticides, as already identified by the FAO. </span></span></span><span><span>CLI’s goal of advocating for the continued use of the pesticides that its members sell stands in direct opposition </span></span><span>to</span><span><span> the FAO’s goals of supporting holistic and inclusive politics and the practice of agroecology.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The 11 civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations that sent the joint letter and meeting request co-sponsored the letter to FAO Director-General Qu sent in November 2020, in which over </span></span></span><a href="http://pan-international.org/release/350-civil-society-organizations-and-250-scientists-call-on-the-un-agency-not-to-partner-with-croplife-international/"><span><span>350 civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations</span></span></a><span><span><span> expressed their deep concerns with the FAO’s plans to strengthen its official ties with CLI, a move the groups said would undermine the FAO’s independence, its mandate as a U.N. institution and the principles set out in its Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management. Subsequently, </span></span></span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/letter-academics-scientists-and-researchers-expressing-concern-regarding-faos"><span><span><span>250 scientists and academics</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> wrote to the director-general expressing similar concerns. The director-general’s response dated November 27, 2020 did not satisfactorily address these concerns. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>IATP is particularly concerned that this alliance with CLI undercuts the FAO’s support for agroecology, an approach that offers viable and sustainable proposals for generating ecologically-based food and farming systems, which the <span><a href="http://www.fao.org/agroecology/overview/en/"><span>FAO itself describes</span></a></span></span><span> as a response to the challenges of climate change and the need for a transition to a resilient food system. Public support for agroecological transitions </span><span>is</span><span> essential to addressing the multiple crises we face in our food and agricultural systems, while improving the food and nutrition security as well as wellbeing of millions of people directly working in it; FAO’s partnership with CLI flies in the face of FAO’s </span><span><a href="http://www.fao.org/3/nd420en/nd420en.pdf">ongoing efforts to support agroecological approaches</a></span><span> in member countries including India, Mexico, Senegal and several others. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>As rights holders and members of civil society, the letter’s authors maintain that the FAO should immediately abandon its proposed alliance with CLI; develop an integrated policy to prevent conflicts of interest to ensure that corporate “solutions” are not influencing the FAO’s work regarding sustainability, biodiversity, human health and food sovereignty; and fulfill its commitment to ensuring all voices are heard by meeting with these groups as a matter of highest priority</span></span></p> <p>Read the letter to the FAO director-general <a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/letter-fao-director-general-croplife-international-partnership-plans">here</a>.  </p> <hr /><p><em>Download the press statement <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2021-02/Media%20Statement_IATP%20Joins%20PAN%20and%20Allies_Meeting%20with%20FAO.pdf">here</a>. </em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 26 Feb 2021 16:58:04 +0000 cecelia brackey 44477 at https://www.iatp.org Mexico to ban glyphosate, GM corn: Presidential decree comes despite intense pressure from industry, US authorities https://www.iatp.org/blog/202102/mexico-ban-glyphosate-gm-corn <span>Mexico to ban glyphosate, GM corn: Presidential decree comes despite intense pressure from industry, US authorities</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cecelia brackey</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/24/2021 - 11:11</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>Originally published on <a href="http://www.ipsnews.net/2021/02/mexico-ban-glyphosate-gm-corn-presidential-decree-comes-despite-intense-pressure-industry-u-s-authorities/">Inter Press Service</a> (IPS News) on February 24, 2021. </em></p></div> Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:11:11 +0000 cecelia brackey 44475 at https://www.iatp.org